What’s Online Language Translation Good for?
Posted on March 25, 2013 by Chris
We have finally determined that online language translation is good for something. Until now, we were certain it wasn’t good for you, for your business, or for your business’s reputation…but we’ve finally found a home for it.
We’ve determined that it’s great entertainment, worthy of the kind of knee-slapping guffaws that are rare outside the realm of online language translation.
Online language translation is so bad that it seems no have no recollection of the language translations it has performed. How do we know? Consider these actual online language translations, made by an entity we’ll leave unnamed. We started off asking for language translation of common public signage from English to random languages, then back to English again. Here are just some of the results, accompanied by our staff’s reactions:
- Road Slippery When Wet TO When You a Wet Sliding. “What happened to the road?” “Where’s the verb?” “I find myself waiting for the rest of the insult.”
- No Dogs Allowed TO There is no Dog. “Is this an answer to the dog accusation? Or a threat regarding the outcome?” “Poor puppy.”
- Caution: Peanut Dust TO Note: the my PC powder. “Thank God I’m not allergic to peanuts.” “Do peanuts compute?”
- Baggage Claim TO Tree Trunk. “What?” “On the bright side, maybe a tree trunk would be harder to lose.”
- No Stopping or Standing TO Off or Normal. “I thought ‘no’ meant ‘no’ in any language.” “At least the original allows me to keep walking.”
- Road Construction Ahead TO The Way Forward Building. “Wait…is this road construction or this quarter’s mandatory team-building seminar?” “Huh?” “Like, way cool.”
- Hard Hat Area TO Area of the Hull. “Understandable if you’re on a ship that’s notorious for being pelted with random falling objects.” “Oh, I get it…hard covering.”
- Coat Check TO Watermelon. “I’m speechless.” “Okaaaay.”
- Do Not Feed the Horses TO No Horses. “Really? I see one right there.” “Hmmm…I guess I don’t have to worry about feeding them.”
- Nonpotable Water TO This Water. “This could be the difference between life and death – or at least a stomachache.” “Well, it is water. They’re right about that.”
- No Passing TO It Does Not Occur. “Oh really? Then why the sign.”
- Not an Exit TO Electrical Outlet. “Yeah, if you take that exit you might be in for a shock.” “In other words, only an entrance.”
- Caution: Sink Holes TO Note: in the Hole. “Not a bad translation.” “Cause and effect?”
- Quiet: Filming in Progress TO Silence: Were Killed. “Mob movie or chick-flick?” “Spoiler alert!”
- Keep off the Grass TO The Entry on the Grass. “Isn’t that the opposite?” “Oh, so now I can cut through the grass? Make up your mind.”
Okay, so you get the point. Language translation that is not skillfully crafted by human beings is not really language translation at all. In fact, it’s rarely a shadow of its original self.